Best Culinary Schools

Explore the typical characteristics of a school with a strong program in the culinary arts. Read about two well-ranked schools with culinary programs, and find out what kinds of degree and certificate programs you could pursue at each school. Schools offering Baking & Pastry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Characteristics of the Best Culinary Schools?

The best schools may have accreditation from culinary professional associations. You might prefer a school where you can specialize in specific types of cuisine or take courses in hospitality management. Opportunities to study and work in state-of-the-art kitchens and hospitality facilities could be attractive. Perhaps you'd like to study abroad or enter culinary competitions.

What Are Two of the Best Culinary Schools?

Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA

Drexel tied as a 102nd-ranked national university by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. Its Academic Bistro offers special events and speakers, professional kitchens, a reference library and a dining room to prepare you for real-world opportunities. Drexel's cooperative education program encourages six months of full-time culinary employment. A 5-year accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Business Administration program is available to Culinary Arts and Culinary Science majors.

Students majoring in culinary arts can choose a minor in business administration, marketing or entrepreneurship in cooperation with the LeBow College of Business. You might study world cuisines, food styling and beverage management. An opportunity to study abroad in London is available.

The following bachelor's degree is available:

  • Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts and Sciences

Johnson and Wales University (JWU) in Providence, RI

JWU tied as U.S. News & World Report's 2019 74th-ranked North regional university. Multiple JWU alumni have been nominated for James Beard Foundation awards as well as Food & Wine's People's Best New Chef awards. JWU faculty and students participate in campus and international culinary competitions. The Culinary Nutrition program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education.

Associate and bachelor's degrees are available through the College of Culinary Arts. With industry experience, you might qualify for the accelerated associate degree program. You'd have study abroad options in Switzerland, Germany, Singapore,Thailand, Peru, Italy or France. In a bachelor's program, you might select a concentration in baking and pastry arts, contemporary pastry arts, beverage service, culinary capstone labs, wellness and sustainability or sommelier. As a Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Arts major, you could study food service management through a joint degree with the Hospitality College.

On-campus facilities include specialty kitchens as well as microbiology and product development laboratories. JWU partners with worldwide Michelin 3-star facilities to provide you with hands-on training. JWU owns or has affiliations with off-campus facilities like the Philadelphia Radisson and Doubletree hotels.The following degrees are available at the Providence campus, with some also available at the North Miami, Denver or Charlotte campuses:

  • Associate in Science (A.S.) in Baking and Pastry Arts
  • A.S. in Culinary Arts
  • B.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts
  • B.S. in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
  • B.S. in Culinary Nutrition
  • B.S. in Food Service Entrepreneurship
  • B.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts and Food Service Management

Ten Culinary Arts Schools

College/UniversityInstitution typeLocationEstimated Undergrad In-State Tuition (2018-2019)*
Kendall College School of Culinary Arts4-year, PrivateChicago, ILN/A
Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts2-year, PrivateBoulder, CO$15,000
Boston University4-year, PrivateBoston, MA$54,000
Paul Smiths College of Arts and Sciences 4-year, PrivatePaul Smiths, NY$28,500
Nicholls State University4 year, PublicThibodaux, LA$8,000
Le Cordon Bleu College4-year, PrivateAustin, TXN/A
Baker College of Muskegon4-year, PrivateMuskegon, MIN/A
College of Southern Nevada4-year, PublicLas Vegas, NV$3,500
Florida State College4-year, PublicJacksonville, FL$3,000
Valencia College4-year, PublicOrlando, FL$2,500

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools